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Emerald opens Knowmad Society special issue of On the Horizon at IPON

This morning, I arrived in Utrecht, Netherlands for IPON, an annual educational technology event that attracts over 5,000 ICT professionals and educators. I will give a keynote tomorrow on “redesigning the future of education in Knowmad Society: our next steps,” where I will share some of the key ideas that we presented in the Knowmad Society book.

Related to this event, Emerald Group Publishing has agreed to provide early, open access to the next issue of On the Horizon, which is themed on Knowmad Society: Borderless work and education. Please note that these are the “EarlyCite” versions of the articles, and that there may be some modifications by the time the issue goes to print on May 17. This complimentary, online access to the issue is available for IPON participants only until June 10.

A simplified instruction page for accessing the journal is available at: http://www.knowmadsociety.com/oth/

Also, full instructions for accessing the special issue are provided for IPON participants here: http://www.knowmadsociety.com/oth/oth-instructions.pdf

Very special thanks go to Emerald for making this early look possible. Again, thank you!

EF contributors receive Emerald Literati Network Award for Excellence

Education Futures contributors Arthur Harkins and John Moravec have been chosen as “highly commended” award winners at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012 for their article entitled Systemic Approaches to Knowledge Development and Application published in the journal, On the Horizon.

To highlight the paper further, the publisher has made the article free for download for the next three months. In the piece, Harkins and Moravec introduce systemic approaches to knowledge development and application — that is, a framework which provides a systems-language descriptive means for understanding and engaging in an expanding ecology of knowledge development options. We call this “MET” : mechanical (conservatively repetitive), evolutionary (self-organizing), and teleogenic (purposively creative). Many of the characteristics of the MET framework are summarized in this table (click to enlarge):

The MET knowledge development framework

From the article:

American preK-12 schooling systems may be primarily mechanical, but some of their students may learn at home or on the internet in parallel evolutionary and teleological ways. The question is how such students can survive the conservative impacts of the outdated majority culture mechanical model, especially if it is delivered in unsophisticated and undemanding ways. They may have to depend upon self-education, the help of their parents, and luck to avoid becoming the casualties of a declining knowledge-resistant culture. We believe that the MET archetypes, buttressed by [augmented reality], can help such people, beginning immediately.

A systemic approach to knowledge development and application

In the current issue of On the Horizon, Arthur Harkins and I introduce systemic approaches to knowledge development and application — that is, a framework which provides a systems-language descriptive means for understanding and engaging in an expanding ecology of knowledge development options. We call this “MET” : mechanical (conservatively repetitive), evolutionary (self-organizing), and teleogenic (purposively creative). Many of the characteristics of the MET framework are summarized in this table (click to enlarge):

The MET knowledge development framework

From the article:

American preK-12 schooling systems may be primarily mechanical, but some of their students may learn at home or on the internet in parallel evolutionary and teleological ways. The question is how such students can survive the conservative impacts of the outdated majority culture mechanical model, especially if it is delivered in unsophisticated and undemanding ways. They may have to depend upon self-education, the help of their parents, and luck to avoid becoming the casualties of a declining knowledge-resistant culture. We believe that the MET archetypes, buttressed by [augmented reality], can help such people, beginning immediately.

Continue on to the full article in OTH…

Study: Calculators okay in math class

…but, only if students know the math first.

Media guru Griffin Gardner forwarded this article from ScienceDaily, which suggests that calculators are useful tools in elementary-level mathematics classes.  Citing research by Bethany Rittle-Johnson and Alexander Oleksij Kmicikewycz at Vanderbilt, and recently published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, ScienceDaily writes:

“So much of how you teach depends on how you market the material – presentation is very important to kids,” Kmicikewycz added. “Many of these students had never used a calculator before, so it added a fun aspect to math class for them.”

“It’s a good tool that some teachers shy away from, because they are worried it’s going to have negative consequences,” Rittle-Johnson said. “I think that the evidence suggests there are good uses of calculators, even in elementary school.”

From the JECP article:

The impact of prior knowledge on the benefits of generating information highlights an important constraint that teachers should consider. Initial practice in generating answers seems important to support procedure acquisition; once procedures are learned, the benefits of generating answers may be reduced or eliminated. This converges with teachers’ beliefs that ‘‘calculators should be used only after students had learned how to do the relevant mathematics without them” (Ballheim, 1999, p. 6). Reading answers from calculators does offer some potential benefits for higher knowledge students; it increases opportunities for practice of individual items and removes exposure to incorrect answers. Associative memory models predict that greater exposure to problems and their answers improves recall of the answers and that exposure to incorrect answers decreases recall of correct answers (e.g., Shrager & Siegler, 1998; Siegler, 1988). In the current study, using calculators increased the number of times the problems were practiced and decreased the number of errors during the study session. This may explain why higher knowledge students did not seem to benefit from generating answers. Over additional study sessions, benefits of calculator use for learning arithmetic facts may accrue. More generally, teachers should consider the potential trade-off in practice using procedures and frequency of exposure to correct information and should consider that this trade-off may vary for students with different knowledge levels. (p. 80)

The Chinese are using hand-held learning devices to help them pass English exams, and the U.S. is starting to see the benefits of the use of calculators in the classroom.  Is “ethical cheating” becoming mainstream?

Futures Research Quarterly publishes special Leapfrog issue

The World Futures Society has published a special issue of Futures Research Quarterly, focused on the Leapfrog Principle.  These papers will serve as the knowledge base for the upcoming Leapfrog conference in Anqing, China this October.  Online copies should be available through EBSCOhost in the near future (check with your library for access).  Contents for the Spring 2008 (vol. 24, nr. 1) issue:

  • The role of Leapfrogging in the future of youth work and workforce preparation by George Kubik
  • Leapfrog principles and practices: Core components of Education 3.0 and 4.0 by Arthur M. Harkins
  • The Leapfrog Principle and paradigm shifts in education by Xian-rong Wang
  • The significance of Leapfrog education development in China by Changde Cao
  • Four scenarios of Leapfrog for teacher training curriculum in China by Hongzhuan Song
  • Utilizing digital technology to achieve leapfrog learning by Jun ma
  • Technological applications of Leapfrog by John Moravec
  • Leapfrog Education: An alternative present and future for Chinese tertiary education by Yi Cao

International Leapfrog conference coming this fall

During October 12-14 of this year Anqing Teachers College will sponsor a conference on Leapfrog-inspired changes in the near futures of Chinese and U.S. education. The University of Minnesota, Anqing Teachers College, and the World Future Society are collaborators in this exciting development.

The official title of the conference is Interdisciplinary Education in Teacher Training Programs via Leapfrog Principles. More information about the conference will be released in the near future.

Eight draft papers for the ATC conference are linked here. Please make any comments that you feel will improve the papers. In the near future, the papers will be edited by Dr. Tim Mack, President of the World Future Society, for a special issue of the journal Futures Research Quarterly.

Is it time to boycott non-open journals?

Danah Boyd joined the call for reforming how academics publish their work by calling for a boycott of non-open-access journals …and, provided a list of suggestions on what needs to be done now:

  • Tenured Faculty and Industry Scholars: Publish only in open-access journals.
  • Disciplinary associations: Help open-access journals gain traction.
  • Tenure committees: Recognize alternate venues and help the universities follow.
  • Young punk scholars: Publish only in open-access journals in protest, especially if you’re in a new field.
  • More conservative young scholars: publish what you need to get tenure and then stop publishing in closed venues immediately upon acquiring tenure.
  • All scholars: Go out of your way to cite articles from open-access journals.
  • All scholars: Start reviewing for open-access journals.
  • Libraries: Begin subscribing to open-access journals and adding them to your catalogue.
  • Universities: Support your faculty in creating open-access journals on your domains.
  • Academic publishers: Wake up or get out.

(The above list is abstracted from her original post.)

I probably fall under the “young punk” category in her list, and publish in both traditional and new media as an attempt to compromise and appeal to both conservative and cutting-edge scholars. How can we move away from a culture of appeasement of 20th century academic culture and refocus our knowledge diffusion toward media formats that are more appealing to younger and more tech-savvy academics –such as blogs, and the spaces where open access journals and other, new, open media interface? How long until the academy will finally accept highly commented and linked blog posts as legitimate, peer-reviewed articles in a tenure review?

GLE inaugural release

Today marks the first release of Global Leapfrog Education (ISSN 1933-0200), an open access, online journal hosted by the Global Leapfrog Institute, LLC.

The official journal repository is located at http://www.leapfroginstitute.org/journal/index.php/gle

The GLE blog (located at http://www.leapfroginstitute.org/gle) will be used to broaden discussion and serve as an access point for sharing further ideas and resources.

As we learn to master the OJS journal software, articles will be released in two trenches. First, Cristobal Cobo (FLACSO Mexico) discusses new learning opportunities provided by “Web 2.0” and successor technologies. In a near future release date, Arthur Harkins, myself and George Kubik (University of Minnesota) describe a leapfrog pathway through simulational learning.

Introduction and mission

Global Leapfrog Education (GLE) is devoted to exploring how, through education and human capital development, communities can transcend current problems and challenges by empowering themselves to invent their own futures. GLE publishes articles spanning a wide range of interests related to leapfrog education (viz. change, technologies, knowledge production and innovation, global youth leadership, and futures-oriented philosophies and theories of education). This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Our electronic submission process is designed to facilitate rapid publication. Once an article is published, peer reviewers submit written, critical feedback to the author as an addendum to the article, published in GLE. Such reviews may be considered publications in their own right. Reviewers and other participants are also encouraged to contribute to discussions related to each article via the journal blog at http://www.leapfroginstitute.org/gle.

What is leapfrogging?

  • Leapfrogging means jumping over obstacles to achieve goals.
  • Leapfrogging is a leadership necessity.
  • Leapfrogging saves precious time.
  • Leapfrogging builds institutional and community prestige.
  • Leapfrogging works best if everybody collaborates.

Focus and scope

The first country to adopt the Leapfrog Paradigm, bolster it with advanced communications technologies, and apply it in preschool through graduate contexts, will either continue to lead or will acquire newfound leadership among emerging knowledge and innovation economies.

We are aware of the need for simplicity, but the reality is that the Leapfrog Paradigm we describe is fundamentally cognitive in nature. It is the new educational mission required to support knowledge based innovation economies. New language and concepts are required.

The focus of GLE is on the language, concepts and education required to produce knowledge and direct it toward continuous innovation. This calls for an entirely new education mission –one that requires a different vocabulary and mindset compared to the now globally-distributed education missions for agricultural, industrial, and information-based societies.

GLE will help readers and contributors:

  • Understand that states, regions and individuals are in a global competition in human capital development and application;
  • Understand how technology shapes human world views and choices;
  • Understand the relationship between technological change and social change with emphasis on the emerging Technological Singularity;
  • Understand exponential acceleration of technological, scientific, societal and economic changes;
  • Understand multiple perceived realities and their vectors;
  • Develop leapfrog education scenarios related to technology, innovation, systems design and integration; and,
  • Connect these leapfrog scenarios with 21st Century education redesign and redirection.

Journal keywords and key concepts

accelerating change, basic knowledge engine ecology, creativity, cybernetics, design, entrepreneurship, global leapfrog education, invention, innovation, knowledge engine ecologies, knowledge production, knowledge engine ecologies, memes and new social patterns in thought and belief, sociocultural prosumers, youth development

Full information on the journal architecture and instructions to contributors is located at http://www.leapfroginstitute.org/journal/index.php/gle/article/view/3/3